Dean Martha Minow receives honorary degree from University of Buenos Aires


Martha Minow, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor at Harvard Law School, was presented with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree (Doctor Honoris Causa) by the University of Buenos Aires on May 15.

Minow, an expert in human rights and advocacy for members of racial and religious minorities and for women, children, and persons with disabilities, was recognized for her contributions to society through research and public service. She is the first woman to receive an honorary degree from the University of Buenos Aires.

The university cited her passion for legal education, her contributions to the study of jurisprudence, child rights and family law, and her tireless commitment to human rights, tolerance and peace around the world, which provide a unique example of the combination of academic excellence and true engagement in social justice.

This is Minow’s ninth honorary degree. The University of Buenos Aires selected Minow for the degree in 2014, but she was unable to attend in person until this spring. On Monday, May 15, Minow was presented with the honor by Monica Pinto, dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Buenos Aires, during a ceremony at the university, and gave a lecture titled, “Law, Justice, and Forgiveness.”

On Thursday, May 18, Minow will be inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Fellows are elected in recognition of the contributions that they have made in their careers to progress in the social sciences. Selected from a broad range of disciplines, fellows include sociologists, political scientists, psychologists and economists, as well as scholars and practitioners in communications, education, government and public policy.

In addition to her American Academy of Political and Social Science fellowship, Minow is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Bar Foundation, and the American Philosophical Society. Among other accolades, she has received the Holocaust Center Award, Gold Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Public Discourse from The College Historical Society of Trinity College, Dublin, and nine honorary degrees, including this most recent recognition.

Minow is the author of many scholarly articles in journals of law, history and philosophy. Her recent book, “In Brown’s Wake: Legacies of America’s Education Landmark” (2010), clarifies how the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision has influenced education policy worldwide.

She has taught courses in civil procedure, constitutional law, family law, international criminal justice, jurisprudence, and law and education, among others and was recognized with Harvard’s Sachs-Freund Teaching Award in 2005.

Minow collaborated with the U.S. Department of Education and the Center for Applied Special Technology on legislative initiatives and a voluntary national standard to improve access to curricular materials for individuals with disabilities. She also served on the Independent International Commission on Kosovo and worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to promote peaceful development in post-conflict societies. She also serves on the MacArthur Foundation board.

During her deanship, Minow has continued her broader service to the legal academy and the profession while focusing attention on the delivery of legal services nationally and internationally. She has served as vice chair of the board of the government-sponsored Legal Services Corporation, which provides and promotes civil legal aid for people who cannot otherwise afford counsel, and as chair of the LSC’s Pro Bono Task Force. She also served as the inaugural chair of the Deans Steering Committee of the Association of American Schools and as a member of the American Bar Association’s Diversity and Inclusion 360 Commission.

Minow, who was named dean of the Harvard Law School in 2009, is concluding her service as dean in June.

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